BREEDERS SOCIETY AND REGISTRY ®
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Breed Development of Panda® Miniature Cattle
"A Symbol of Hope and Peace in the World"
By Professor Richard Gradwohl
A NEW BREED: Developing a new breed of cattle particularly miniature cattle is not a simple short term project. It takes lots of time, patience, determination, planning, financial ability and just plain luck. Sometimes you get real lucky but other times lady luck does not come around. I've had as a long term goal the development of a miniature cattle that would have a panda-type look. We may just have accomplished that goal with the Panda® Miniature Cattle. Another possibility could be Giant Panda® Cattle. A combination of these two unique developments is very exciting.
LINEBREEDING: How has this all come about? I can't give you all the particulars because the approved breeding program is proprietary. I can, however, tell you that it has involved five different breeds over a period of 35 years. The birth of the first Panda® Miniature Cattle, Precious born last year was the culmination of these efforts. Part of the breeding program was the development of two different miniature bulls that seem to carry the genetic markings for the panda-type look. These bulls were the result of years of linebreeding. They are half brothers born to half sisters that were bred to the same father that was the result of the breeding of a very small bull to half sisters. Are you a little confused by now? Well that's what linebreeding is all about. It's keeping the influence of any ancestor at no more than 50%. We try to keep it at 50% and half brother to half sister accomplishes this.
A TRUE BREED? Could anyone else develop Panda® Miniature Cattle? Maybe, but that doesn't mean that they have developed a breed. A breed is defined as a group of animals from a common background with similar characteristics that can consistently reproduce themselves within an acceptable range of standards. Is the Panda® Miniature Cattle a breed? I don't think I would qualify it as a breed, there are only four animals in the world.
This year we have had four Panda® Miniature Cattle born so far with seven more to go. Of the four two have had good markings, two have not. Including last year then that's a 60% success rate. The cow that gave birth to Precious, the first Panda® Miniature Cattle had a second calf out of the same bull but with no belt. After all the animals are born this year we will wait until they are of breeding age and then start breeding those half brothers to their half sisters. Our second bull is a half brother to the father of Precious so he will be able to be bred to her. Next year we will have several Panda® Miniature Cattle out of this second bull which then can be linebred to the progeny of Precious. Also the progeny from the second bull can be bred to the progeny of the first bull which will increase the genetic base of the herd.
LINEBREEDING VERSES INBREEDING: You are perhaps a little more confused by now but the breeding techniques are time proven and really fairly simple. It does require a lot of record keeping. Don't confuse linebreeding with inbreeding. Inbreeding is grandfather to granddaughter, grandson to grandmother or father to daughter. The result of inbreeding is more than a 50% influence. With linebreeding we are attempting to create a genetic pool without the risks of inbreeding. Needless to say it's all very interesting. I'm sure you can see where it takes a lot of those things I mentioned at the start of this article ie:patience, determination, time, planning, financial ability and most of all a lot of luck. We are currently interested in talking to people with these characteristics. Frankly I can see where we will quite soon run out of space. If you have an interest in helping us develop these unique cattle please give us a call at (253) 631-1911. Take Care of yourselves and I hope you have a great future with the "Symbol of Hope and Peace in the World - Panda® Miniature Cattle.